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Heads they win

IN CELEBRATING the progress schools have made, the Education Secretary paid tribute in his North of England address to the skill and commitment of staff at all levels in the education service. He spoke of a new contract between teachers and "a government that will support and invest in them".

The Office of Manpower Economics survey of teachers' pay in 1999 shows that so far it is headteachers rather than those who toil in the classroom who are being invested in most. Heads' pay was boosted by the pay review body last year to improve recruitment. As a result it increased by aound 6 per cent on average while most teachers were limited to 3.5 per cent.

Though this again draws attention to the three headteachers in 10 awarded performance bonuses by governors compared with three teachers in 1,000, only a small part of the total rise paid to heads was performance-based. Teachers will inevitably ask why managers merit across-the-board rises, double the rate of inflation, while those achieving Mr Blunkett's targets in the classroom have to wait to jump through the performance hoops before they start to enjoy some investment in their success.

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